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State Seal of Biliteracy: Ideas from the Field

The data presented in the following table is a record of suggestions for supporting, promoting, and expanding participation in the State Seal of Biliteracy opportunity through local action.

The data presented in the following table is a record of suggestions for supporting, promoting, and expanding participation in the State Seal of Biliteracy opportunity through local action. They were submitted in response to the following prompt on the California Department of Education (CDE) 2020 Professional Learning Needs Assessment Survey for World Languages (WL) Educators:

What actions do you take locally to encourage students to pursue and attain the State Seal of Biliteracy?

Responses received have been grouped into five categories:

  • Language Programs, Alignment, and School/District Goals
  • Events and Recognition
  • Communication
  • Family Engagement
  • Student Counseling, Advising, and Support

These suggestions from the WL educators’ community will serve as a starting point for adoption, adaptation, and inspiration to create additional strategies for expanding student awareness, interest, and participation in attaining the SSB award. All of the suggestions are reproduced here as received, with only minimal copy editing for consistent format, while retaining original content.

To learn more about the survey, access the summary report from the Updates tab on the World Languages web page.

Category Suggestions submitted
Language Programs, Alignment, School/District Goals
  • We are a kindergarten through grade six (K–6) district and have just begun discussion with our high school partners to continue the Dual Language Immersion (DLI) Program into the middle and high school with the goal of students obtaining the State Seal of Biliteracy (SSB).
  • We promote the program through our dual immersion academies.
  • We inform all our participants about the Seal of Biliteracy and its value to students every year in all our programs. We also support teachers and administrators who need help to implement the program.
  • We promote the seal starting in kindergarten and encourage our kids to stay in the Dual Immersion Program.
  • Expand our courses included in the participation of the SSB. For instance, we are opening up dual enrollment for Spanish and those students are included in the opportunity to earn the SSB.
  • Made part of department and school goals.
  • Our DLI Program is building. We are currently only kindergarten and first grade. We have a 90/10 Model. We will add second grade next year and continue adding a grade each year.
  • Have begun the Path to Biliteracy.
  • Communicate and support all school teams including DLI Education to identify award candidates from elementary to high school. Provide schools with potential candidate lists and established internal policies to provide guidelines. Train and prepare staff to implement systems that recognize achievement and target language acquisition. Tracking and reporting data to leadership at all district levels.
  • Elementary and Middle School Pathways to the SSB are available. 
  • We are a K–8 school district and implement the Pathways to the SSB.
  • We implemented the Biliteracy Pathway Awards programs for fifth and eighth graders just this year. Our goal is to set students on the path towards the SSB.
  • We are participating in the Pathway to SSB from K–8.
  • We participate in the Pathways awards because we are not a high school site.
  • As a county office, we support our district and charter school leaders with a Pathways to the SSB award. We have developed criteria for the award for pre-kindergarten, transitional kindergarten, K–3, grades 5–6, and grade 8.
  • Through early exposure to foreign language in elementary school in grades 4 and 5, combined with dedicated instruction, students begin to receive the foundational learning skills needed to continue to learn a foreign language, and in Middle School and High School to become proficient.
Events and Recognition
  • We promote the SSB at the middle school level for our students entering high school. It is part of the celebration sequence for students enrolled in the DLI Program.
  • Awards ceremony and recognition at the fifth and eighth grade levels, along with during twelfth grade completion.
  • We provide an Elementary Bilingual Attainment Award upon sixth grade graduation, so that secondary schools know the child may be eligible for the SSB.
  • We are a K–6 district. We have a DLI program that is currently K–2. We are working towards implementing a pathway to the SSB recognition program.
  • Our district is one that heavily encourages and celebrates learning languages through our seven different DLI program offerings, starting in elementary school. We also offer a district level award called the Bilingual Competency Award that mirrors the criteria needed for the SSB.
  • We award students who complete grade 6 having been in the DLI since kindergarten with a certificate at promotion.
  • We are an elementary district. We award "Pathway to the Seal of Biliteracy" certificates to graduating sixth graders who demonstrate bilingualism/biliteracy.
  • Although we are not a High School system we promote a pin of biliteracy at the end of sixth grade before students promote to the Jr. High/Middle School. This is a local practice.
  • My department hosts the award ceremony for graduating seniors throughout the county.
  • Pathways to SSB Award initiative. We gather the names of students and develop certificates and provide the districts with ribbons and medals for grade 8.
  • We honor each of those students at both our school awards ceremony and at graduation.
  • We work toward that goal by awarding county biliterate ribbons at kindergarten, first, and hopefully third grade this year. Public ceremonies.
Communication
  • Flyers to students and parents.
  • Notifications on school/district website.
  • Promote in course catalog.
  • Frequent announcements made in all WL classes and during California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress testing.
  • We promote the program through information provided on our local and district websites.
  • Announcing and promoting on the district website. Application on district website.
  • Advertise and promote in all WL and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.
  • Public Service Announcements on the radio.
  • Department Chair meetings.
  • Make sure all of our area high schools are familiar with the program and are encouraged to participate.
  • All WL classes have the seal requirements posted.
  • We communicate with our stakeholders the benefit of receiving the SSB.
  • Promoting in our WL classes.
  • We promote it as an achievement earned when they graduate or promote from our K–5 and 6–8 programs. We advertise the SSB during course selection season and in our course guide and student handbook so students are aware of the award and can build it into their academic planning.
Family Engagement
  • We promote the program to parents and other stakeholders.
  • At the elementary level, we are educating parents and students about the SSB and encouraging students to continue to participate through high school.
  • Information to students and parents on how to obtain the SSB.
  • We provide information to our families about the criteria for the SSB.
  • We educate parents about the SSB during the annual parent orientation.
  • Advertise at our parent meetings, especially English Learner Advisory Committees, from sites to district.
  • We teach our families about the SSB and explain that their work in high school English will be the determining factor as they have proved themselves competent in the WL.
  • We share this at parent meetings.
  • Promoting in our parent workshop.
  • Parent awareness meetings.
Student Counseling, Advising, Support
  • Counselors have conversations with students to encourage them to continue in WL classes.
  • We have conversations with our eighth graders.
  • Meetings with students and counselors/teachers.
  • Counselor, teacher, and parent encouragement.
  • We work with Seal candidates to ensure transportation to testing at the county office.
  • As students move up the grades, we monitor performance and in high school we encourage them to apply.
  • We promote the SSB in classrooms and through the counseling office.
  • We encourage students to take four years of Spanish to attain the Seal of Biliteracy.
  • We encourage our students to maintain grades, do well on state testing, and to take Advanced Placement classes that include WL.
  • Make them aware ninth grade year.
  • Our counseling staff encourages all students to achieve the SSB.
  • Promote in our guidance.
  • I help coordinate our DLI program to our middle schoolers. We promote our program by mentioning the program's benefits as well as mentioning the SSB as an incentive to obtain higher recruitment of students.
  • Our district actively searches for students who may be eligible to ensure they know the process, including taking the oral proficiency exam if they are earning it via seat time.
  • We encourage students to take a minimum of two, but strongly recommend at least three years of WL study.
  • Teachers present the opportunity to students through informational meetings and meeting with individual students.
  • I collaborate with my colleague who manages the SSB program to ensure that all Language students who qualify for the SSB are given access to the process and the procedures through the WL classrooms.
Questions:   Professional Learning Innovations Office | PLIO@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-6269
Last Reviewed: Friday, March 19, 2021
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